R.I.P. Meredith Vieira And The End Of Flash Mobs

This morning was Meredith Vieira’s final appearance on the Today Show. Awwwwww, I guess? Awwwww! Carole King serenaded to her and Abe Vigoda was there for some reason, but the real cap-off to the Goodbye Party was a rousing flash-mob-style lip dub rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin'”.* Wait, why? I’m pretty sure Meredith Vieira is a multi-millionaire television star with a long career behind her and her choice of options for what to do next ahead of her. Poor her. Chin up, Meredith Vieira! You just need to hold onto your dream and someday it will come true? While we’re on the subject, and I feel like I have said this before, but can we finally be done with flash mobs now? They were cute when Bill Wasik created them, and they got less cute when Improv Everywhere introduced them to marketing executives that wanted to take T-Mobile “viral,” but they don’t even make any sense anymore. They are neither social experiment nor performance art. They are the city of Grand Rapids trying to prove to the world that it isn’t a “dying city,” as if a full-city lip dub of “American Pie” isn’t incontrovertible proof of that very fact. They are a b-plot on Modern Family! Enough! As a decontextualized illustration of the power of Facebook Event Invitations, or whatever, they are neither interesting, impressive, or even remotely surprising. At this point, if you’re walking through a shopping mall food court and the employees DON’T break out into song it is weird. (You could make a more grandiose argument that Meredith Vieira’s short-lived stint as a replacement for Katie Couric who never really gained her stature or media visibility going out with a flash mob lip dub is particularly representative of this moment in culture where we seem decidedly BETWEEN things and nothing much matters, culturally, but I will leave that to the college nerds, because they’ve got to write their dissertations that no one will ever read [no offense] about SOMETHING am I right?!) The point is: goodbye Meredith Vieira! And hopefully goodbye flash mobs! I’m sure that the people who are still doing flash mobs will definitely read this post and find it very convincing and SEXT each other to agree to all stop it at the same time. Phew. Worth it. The end.

*One could make the argument that flash mobs and lip dubs are not the same thing, but I would counter-argue that zzzzzzz I’m already asleep! But I would counter-argue that lip-dubs are a subset of flash mobs and also that the amount of thinking that goes into these things at this point is so negligible that making any kind of differentiation is way more work than anyone who is actually involved is bothering to do. This is fun to talk about!